The Hazard Perception Test is an important part of your theory test.
How Does the Hazard Perception Test Work?
It’s like a game: You watch a video of an everyday situation on the roads. The video is filmed as if from the eyes of a driver. It’s your job to look out for developing hazards on the road.
When you spot a developing hazard, you click your mouse. The earlier you spot the hazard, and the earlier you click your mouse, the more points you’ll get. You can get up to five points for each developing hazard.
You’ll watch 14 hazard perception videos during your theory test, as well as a short introductory video explaining how things work. Most of these videos will only contain a single developing hazard to look out for, but one of them will contain two.
You only get one shot at each video. You can’t pause or rewind them, and you can’t watch them again afterwards. And while you get points for correctly spotting developing hazards, you do not lose points for clicking for something that isn’t a developing hazard.
Some people think that, because of this, they can simply click continuously throughout the entire video. Or they might click to a set pattern – once every second, for instance. But if you simply click continuously, or to a pattern, you’ll score no points for that video. You need to do things properly!
Tips for Passing Your Hazard Perception Test
Understand What Counts as a Developing Hazard
Some developing hazards can be obvious – like children playing by the side of the road, a pedestrian waiting at a crossing, or roadworks that cause poor visibility. Others might be a bit more subtle. For example, a parked car might start flashing an indicator light. It might very slowly begin to pull out into the road. For this you’d have to slow down, which makes the car an emerging hazard. But to spot this in advance, you’d have to spot that flashing indicator light.
Pay Very, Very Close Attention
It might sound obvious, but the best way to pass your Hazard Perception Test is to pay attention. Keep your eyes open to your immediate surroundings, to look for immediate developing hazards, like that flashing indicator light we mentioned above. But you should also look as far ahead in the road as you can, for vehicles waiting to merge into your lane. Pay attention to reflections in windows too, as these can help you to spot oncoming traffic at junctions earlier.
Talk to Your Instructor
By the time you take your theory test, you’ll have already notched up many hours driving with your instructor. Any time you drive down any road, you’re essentially playing the Hazard Perception Test game in real time. So why not ask your instructor to test you on it? You could call out developing hazards as you see them, and as you react to them. Meanwhile, your instructor could let you know of any developing hazards you might have missed, or that you might have spotted too late. And of course, they might have some tips of their own on how you might pass your Hazard Perception Test.
Practice with Hazard Perception Tests Online
You can take a free practice Hazard Perception Test on the DVSA site. Find it here. This will help you to familiarise yourself with the format, and it’ll show you the sort of developing hazards you’ll have to be aware of during your test. The bad news is that there are only three videos to practice with, as opposed to the 14 you’ll face in your test. So if you want to get any practice beyond this, you can either pay to access the DVSA Learning Zone (prices start at £12.00) or you can download the excellent Theory 4-in-1 app for around £5.00.
As soon as you’ll passed your theory test, your driving instructor will probably start preparing you for your practical test. You’re nearly there! So now’s a great time to start thinking about new driver car insurance – you’ll need it before you know!